I have just discovered this fabulous woman, whose name is Peggy Ann Freeman, and knickname Donyale Luna. Born in 1945 in Detroit, she died in 1979 in Roma. Her life is as fabulous as gloomy.
Model, actress, lover…
Her life begins with violence. When Donyale is 18, her mother kills her father, who had raped her. Her mother wanted Donyale to become a nurse, but this one, after having been discovered by photographer David McCabe, moves to New York to be a model. She promptly makes the cover of magazine Harper’s Bazaar, and, in 1966, becomes the first black model on UK’s Vogue’s cover.
Donyale was regarded as a weird individual, since her childhood. One of her relatives speaks about her as a « very weird child, even from birth, living in a wonderland, a dream ». As what we know about her early days, it seems kind of natural and even healthy for a child to take refuge in a safer world, a dreamt space. But Donyale din not only dreamt her life, she created it. And she named the girl she had in 1977 with an Italian photographer, Dream.
She is also known for her love affair with Klaus Kinski, For her photos in Playboy. For her use of drugs, which will kill her.
Donyale was also an actress, and appears for instance in William Klein’s Who are you Polly Maggoo ?
She dies in Roma of an overdose, at the age of 33.